Hyperuricemia is associated with gout and other diseases. The incidence of gout has doubled in the past 20 years and 80 to 90% of patients with gout do not excrete uric acid normally. Lowering of the uric acid can be accomplished by xanthine oxidase (an enzyme) inhibitors and renal ureate reabsorption blockers.
Allopurinal is the most commonly used pharmaceutical xanthine oxidase inhibitor, but side effects are a problem with most pharmaceutical xanthine oxidase inhibitors. The side effects include gastrointestinal irritation, bone marrow suppression, skin rash and even life-threatening hypersensitivity syndromes.
Morin is a chemical from the twig of the Morus alba (White mulberry) tree, which is also found in figs. It has been used in Chinese medicine to treat illnesses similar to gout. Morin was shown to lower uric acid levels by both of the above mechanisms at micromolar concentrations at pH gradients. The dosage used in rats was 80 mg./kg. of body weight.
Uric acid and Morin are both antioxidants. One theory is that the higher levels of uric acid in humans developed as an evolutionary mechanism that allows a longer lifespan. About 70% of uric acid is excreted by the kidney.
CONCLUSION: Morin was demonstrated in this study to have both xanthine oxidase inhibitor and ureate reabsorption inhibitor effects. This suggests the medicinal benefit of taking Morin from Morus alba for hyperuricemic illnesses, such as gout.
NOTE: Morin is from Morus alba (white mulberry twig.) Other xanthine oxidase inhibitors beside Morin include flavonoids, black tea, figs, astragulus and cocoa polyphenols. They are all useful in Chinese herbal medicine.
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